GED file extension is most commonly associated with a genealogy data file stored in the standard Genealogy Data Communications (GEDCOM) format, and are frequently used for the transfer of family tree information between different genealogy applications. The GED file extension is also used by Game Editor, a cross-platform game development application, to denote a project file. Though less common, the GED file extension has also been used by Arts and Letters image files.
GED files which store family tree data use the GEDCOM format, an open standard which allows data to be transferred between applications across multiple platforms. GED files contain individual records, and may include information such as name, gender and date of birth, as well as family records, which indicate the relationship between individuals. This can be imported by the majority of genealogy applications which will then be able to generate a family tree using these records. GED files may also include links to media such as images, which may also be imported provided the image is present in the specified location. GED files are stored in plaintext, so can be opened and their contents viewed with a text editor.
GED files which store Game Editor Projects store game data, settings and parameters, and are usually accompanied by a resources folder which stores any media required by the game such as images and sounds.
You can open GED files containing family tree information by the majority of genealogy applications including LifeLines, Ancestral Author, GeneWeb and Taurus Family Tree which are available on the Windows platform. Taurus Family Tree and GeneWeb are also available on Mac, and LifeLines and GRAMPS can be used to open GED files on Linux. You can also open GED files using any text editor, though modifications to the data should be made with caution as the syntax must be maintained otherwise the file could be rendered unusable by genealogy applications. You can open GED files produced by Game Editor using Game Editor or Game Editor Professional, which is available on the Windows and Mac platforms.
For more general information about files, file extensions and registry you can read one of the following articles:
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